NFR is one of the pioneers in intrusion detection and prevention, and its pedigree shows in this product.
The features of the Security Sentivist include both standard IPS protection and the ability to learn the network and its required protection over time. Admins can also create custom signatures to protect specific or complicated network structures from intrusion.
This product was above average to use with little trouble during installation and configuration. During installation, we had a few configuration problems with the Java interface, but were able to work past these errors and get back on track.
The Sentivist also has a network configuration wizard that is easy to use and information is asked for in a very straightforward way. After setup, the device monitors all traffic and displays many easily read charts, graphs, and reports.
The product performed very well under all our testing parameters. It logged and prevented all attacks we threw at it and we were able to see all activity in the real-time logs and no extra stress was put on the network.
Documentation was very easy to understand and straightforward. During configuration, when the cursor is moved over a field, a small popup message is displayed that describes the information needed. Both the paper documentation and message popups work together to make setup and configuration quick and easy.
The popups do not substitute for the lack of online manuals, however. NFR tells us the support site offers PDF documents, though we did not have access to this during our testing.
NFR has many support services at the disposal of the administrator. Phone support is offered during normal business hours, but NFR also provides many ways of getting support online after hours. There is also e-mail support and training classes that administrators can attend to find ways to use the product more effectively.
The system is moderately priced for a full IPS system. It is a good investment for just about any size of company or network, except the smallest ones, although for very large networks it can become a bit pricey.
For: Easy to deploy and contains many
IPS features that work together to
provide superior protection to a network.
Against: If the system crashes, the MySQL and Java configurations have to be redone.
Verdict: Good showing from IPS veteran NFR Security.